Review: How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok (Paperback)

Congress (Failure, Reform), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Fine Book by Constitutional Lawyer, Read with “The Case for Impeachment”,

June 16, 2006
Glenn Greenwald
This is a fine book, by a constitutional lawyer, and it focuses largely on how the Bush White House had violated all of the constitutional provisions with respect to checks and balances. On page 79 the author says, after a lengthy discussion, that “the president possessess the power neither to make laws nor to interpret them.” That is of, course, the heart of the matter.

An earlier quote (page 15) sums up the why: “Unbridaled extremism and contempt for the legal limits imposed by Congress and the Courts.”

The author does a fine job of quoting from the Federalist Papers to illustrate just how severe are the violations of the intent of the Founding Fathers by the incumbent President.

This book, which ends with an Epilogue on Iran and the fact that the incumbent President is using the terrorism card to justify any action anywhere, does not make the case for impeachment as ably as another book (see below). It focuses mostly on the NSA wire-tapping.

I strongly recommend this book be bought and read together with Senator Robert Byrd's Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency and The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office by Dave Lindorg and Barbara Oshasky.” Below is an extract from my review of the latter book:

BEGIN EXTRACT The Republicans set the stage for hard-ball when they actually impeached President Clinton, not for having oral sex with an intern, but for lying about it. This book lists ten specific documented reasons for impeaching President Bush:

1. Stole Florida election in 2005.
2. Lied on Iraq to Congress, the Public, and the United Nations.
3. 9-11 Cover-Up and Obstruction of Justice.
4. Violated Rights of Citizens including Habeas Corpus.
5. NSA Program to Listen to Citizens without Warrant.
6. Violated International Treaties Including Geneva Convention.
7. Actively Encouraged, as a Policy, Use of Torture.
8. Gross Negligence on Hurricane Katrina.
9. Iraq Contract Corruption–Bremer “Lost” $8 billion in cash, sole source awards, and gross negligence in managing the peace.
10. Stole Ohio election in 2004.

This book is not just an indictment on the specifics, it is also a very useful primer for citizens on the purpose and process of impeachment. END EXTRACT.

Both books, together, make it clear that any time the American people want to force Congress, on threat of not being re-elected, to impeach this President, he is toast. The question then arises, are *enough* citizens paying attention?

Sometime after reading this book, I read three books that focus on the failure of Congress:
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that we need to dump virtually every single Senator and every single Representative, demand an Electoral Reform Act, and end the ‘wnnier take all” nonsence for both the Congressional leadership positions and the Cabinet. Transpartisan leaders with a balanced budget, that's the ticket!

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